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An Integrated Social and Ecological Modeling Framework: Impacts of Agricultural Conservation Practices on Water Quality

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Daloğlu, Irem; Nassauer, Joan Iverson; Riolo, Rick; Scavia, Donald
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 19
Date: 2014
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9688
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: North America
Subject(s): water quality
Abstract: "We present a modeling framework that synthesizes social, economic, and ecological aspects of landscape change to evaluate how different agricultural policy and land tenure scenarios and land management preferences affect landscape pattern and downstream water quality. We linked a stylized agent-based model (ABM) of farmers’ conservation practice adoption decisions with a water quality model, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), to simulate the water quality effects of changing land tenure dynamics and different policies for crop revenue insurance in lieu of commodity payments over 41 years (1970–2010) for a predominantly agricultural watershed of Lake Erie. Results show that non-operator owner involvement in land management decisions yields the highest reduction in sediment and nutrient loads, and crop revenue insurance leads to more homogeneous farmer decisions and a slight increase in sediment and nutrient loads unless cross compliance with expanded conservation requirements is implemented."

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